Fact Or Fiction
You may have heard fellow parents warn about aluminum in childhood vaccines. Dr. Sears's book The Vaccine Book has exacerbated this fear by creating an “alternative vaccine schedule” to space out vaccines to keep aluminum exposure to a minimum.
There is no need for parents to fear aluminum. The element is the most common metal found in nature and is a part of our everyday environment.
Small amounts of aluminum are contained in our air, water, soil and food. In fact, aluminum is contained in breast milk and is also present in higher levels in infant formula. The levels of aluminum found in your baby’s food, like vaccines, are not dangerous to your baby’s health. Healthy babies quickly eliminate aluminum from their bodies without harmful effects.
Scientists who study vaccines assure moms and dads that while not all vaccines contain aluminum, studies show that its use in certain childhood vaccines actually helps create a better and more prolonged immune response in the body. Every ingredient used in vaccines helps your child’s body respond safely to the vaccine and produce disease-fighting antibodies to prepare for future encounters with a disease.
Since aluminum is so common in our natural environment, it is almost impossible to avoid exposure. The only reason to be concerned about your child’s exposure is if they:
- Have low kidney function AND
- Are exposed to very large quantities of aluminum for months or years. Typically, high exposure to aluminum is the result of occupational exposure. Aluminum causes health problems for workers in dusty environments who breathe in aluminum dusts or fumes.
As with all aspects of your child’s health care, if you are concerned about the amount of aluminum your child is getting, please talk to your healthcare provider. To learn more about the possibility and effects of aluminum exposure, visit The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry.
Always know that there is no attempt to hide what goes into vaccines. The process is transparent, and you can find all the ingredients used in childhood, adult and travel vaccines.